Bamboo is the people’s wood (grass, technically). Homes, edibles, fine writing instruments, delicious stir-fry filler — there’s nothing it can’t do, including providing green energy to fuel electricity for nearly 5,000 Japanese households.
Fujisaki Electric Co. has announced that its construction of the world’s first fire-powered electric plant, in the Yamaguchi prefecture of western Japan, will begin early next year. The plant will use bamboo as its main fuel source, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Bamboo is the definition of an easily renewable natural resource, growing faster than any other plant. Local stores alone should provide enough of it to produce 15.8 million kilowatts per year of heat per year.
Since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown stoked worries of deadly radiation (and with mutant flowers as a reminder) Japan has been on an alternative fuels kick. Earlier this month a renewable energy initiative was announced to turn the country’s abandoned golf course into solar power plants. An 18-hole round is projected for full conversion to a 23-megawatt plant by 2017. Arigato, golfers and hungry small mammals.